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Professional Advisors Seminar

The Community Foundation partnered with the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley to present a special two-part program with attorney Laura Hansen Dean focusing on Charitable Planning in a Time of Uncertainty and Ethical Considerations in Talking with Clients about Charitable Giving Options. The program was held virtually via Zoom on Thursday, October 7. The program was sponsored by Mason Investment Advisory Services, Inc.

Learning Objectives include:

  • Learn why cash may be one of best giving options for your client’s this year.
  • List four charitable giving instruments that can be used to benefit multiple charities.
  • Identify three ways that using a percentage or share of an asset may be a better option during times when asset values fluctuate wildly.
  • Identify four factors that may lead to gift design bias by a gift planner or charitable organization.
  • List ten key points included in the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner.

About Laura Hansen Dean, J.D., Attorney at Law 

In 2017 Laura Hansen Dean, Attorney at Law (Indiana, Texas) returned to Indiana and the charitable gift planning and consulting firm she founded in 1991, Laura Hansen Dean and Associates. Her clients include The University of Texas at Austin for whom she serves as Senior Director of Gift Design and Documentation.

During the years away from Indiana, she served as Associate Vice President of Development at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, as Assistant Vice President of Development for the University of Colorado System, and for 7 years as the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of Texas at Austin during the $3 billion fund raising campaign that concluded successfully in September 2014.

She is recognized as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable charitable gift planners in the country. For over thirty years she has assisted individuals and their advisors in considering and designing charitable giving plans as part of personal financial planning and estate planning.

Her association with community foundations started in 1994 when she began serving as the gift planning consultant to Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow (GIFT), the technical assistance program of The Lilly Endowment. That same year she began working The Indianapolis Foundation (IF) which started a 23 year association with IF, the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and the Legacy Fund of Hamilton County. She served as the CEO of the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana, and on the board of directors of the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation, serving Georgetown, Texas.

She has worked with business owners, corporate executives, employees, entrepreneurs, families with inherited wealth, family-owned businesses, professional practices, and individuals of modest means to individuals listed on the Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. The resulting charitable gifts have ranged from thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. Having worked in most parts of the country, she is equally comfortable at a kitchen table as at a corporate boardroom.

A magna cum laude graduate of Indiana University School of Law, she has led gift-planning teams at public universities, community foundations, and academic centers on philanthropy, has served as Chief Executive Officer of a regional community foundation and a state university-related foundation, and as consultant for multi-year grants funded by some of the country’s largest private foundations. Her consulting firm has served a wide variety of charitable organizations, including community foundations, cultural organizations, private and public institutions of higher education, historic preservation organizations, hospitals and healthcare organizations, human service organizations, religious orders and organizations, and retirement communities.

She has served the charitable gift planning field in leadership positions with local planned giving councils and estate planning councils, and on the board of directors (1991-1993, 2012-2014) and committees of the National Committee on Planned Giving, now the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (NACGP). She was inducted in the NACGP Hall of Fame in 2018 and served on the editorial review committee of the Journal of Gift Planning during its years of publication. She is a frequent speaker and teacher and contributor to publications on philanthropy.

Past Estate Planning Awareness Week Seminars

In celebration of Estate Planning Awareness Week 2019, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation sponsored the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley's program led by Ken Florian, President, Corgenius. The program, “Advising Clients Through the Toughest Times of Life” was held on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at Homewood Suites by Hilton in Center Valley, Pa.  See the photos on LVCF's Flickr page

“When clients cope with death, divorce, retirement, empty nest, or other life transitions, what you say and do in the office has more influence on your client relationship than your financial savvy ever did,” said Ken Florian.  The program presented the following:

  • Understand how to answer the dreaded bad news phone call, the unique issues that your clients face, the differences between men and women, and the best ways to communicate at appointments and on the phone.
  • Find out how to handle a crying client and whether the stages of grief are applicable. Gain skills to deal with irrational fears, bring humor into meetings, and help clients make wise decisions in the midst of loss.

About Ken Florian

Ken Florian is the President of Corgenius. He combines the best of neuroscience and thanatology with a good dose of humor in to teach professionals to build strong relationships with clients through all the losses and transitions of life.

Florian brings decades of corporate and human resources leadership, coaching expertise, and psychological know-how to Corgenius. Ken is contributing author of two books. “No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients through the Toughest Times of Life,” won a C-Suite Book Award, and “Friend Indeed: Help Someone You Love When They Grieve” won a 2017 International Book Award. Florian holds a M.A. degree in Bioethics from Weston Jesuit (Boston College) and is a Certified Thanatologist (the study of death, loss, grief, aging, and transition).




Amy Castoro, President & CEO, The Williams GroupWill Your Client’s Wealth Unify or Divide Their Family?
Amy Castoro
, President & CEO, The Williams Group

Thursday, October 25, 2018

In celebration of Estate Planning Awareness Week, the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley held a talk by Amy Castoro, President & CEO, The Williams Group, entitled “Will Your Client’s Wealth Unify or Divide Their Family?” The talk, sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation, was held on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Northampton Country Club.

Castoro made the case that trusted advisors can build deeper relationships with their clients and prospects, access and engage the next generation to improve retention, and ensure family unity during wealth transition. “Advisors can gain more insight into how to interact with their clients to reduce the impact of wealth and wealth transfer on their families,” Castoro explained. “Advisors also explore the additional satisfaction—beyond asset growth and retention—that comes from actively engaging the inheriting generation to become productive contributors to family unity, wellbeing and legacy."

The talk explored core drivers behind the 70 percent failure rate in estate transfers and what happens in families when trust and communication break down, and how to create alignment regarding the estate plans and family governance. Castoro will explain best practices for engaging the whole family and actions and tools to engage and connect in a more meaningful way with the next generation of clients.

About Amy Castoro | President & CEO, The Williams Group

Amy is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Williams Group. For eight years Amy has specialized in preparing high-net worth families to prepare the next generation to successfully transfer family wealth and values for a sustainable legacy.

Amy brings more than two decades of experience in developing leadership competence, aligning ambition with purpose, and increasing authentic communication and productivity. Amy's experience with The Walt Disney Company, Adecco Corporation and Grant Thornton Management Consulting provided her with a strong foundation of leadership in organizations.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. She is a Master in Somatic Coach through the Strozzi Institute. Amy completed a three-year business course with Hecht and Associates which emphasized the design of new offers and optimizing threats and opportunities in business. She is engaged with continuing education with Dr. Fernando Flores focused on the dynamics of working in teams.


"Washington Update: An Inside Look at Politics and Philanthropy

Hadar Susskind, senior vice president of Government Relations, Council on Foundations
June 7, 2017

Hadar Susskind, senior vice president of Government Relations, Council on Foundations, presented the latest discussions in the nation's capital affecting the philanthropic community.  The Community Foundation will use the occasion to present its prestigious Service to Philanthropy Award to Bruce A. Palmer, CPA, Buckno Lisicky & Company.

Hadar SusskindSusskind addressed the opportunities and challenges associated with tax reform and the Johnson Amendment, among other issues, and other recent developments/news.  He outlined the Council  on Foundation's position on a variety of important issues in philanthropy. With two decades of experience in public policy, philanthropy and social movements, Susskind has been widely acknowledged as one of the leading advocacy voices working in Washington D.C. on both domestic and foreign policy. He has built strong relationships with members of Congress, administration officials, and partners and allies from across the spectrum of American political life. For more, visit the

Bruce PalmerBruce A. Palmer, CPA, Buckno Lisicky & Company, Recieves LVCF Service to Philanthropy Award

Palmer was honored with the 2017 Service to Philanthropy Award.   He is the managing shareholder in Buckno Lisicky & Company's Bethlehem office. He joined the firm in 1980, qualified as a CPA in 1984, and became a Shareholder/Director of the firm in 1989.  A member of the Community Foundation's Board of Governors, Palmer is involved with a long list of both professional and community organizations. For a complete Bio, visit  The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Service to Philanthropy Award recognizes a professional advisor that understands and appreciates the importance of philanthropy in the community, the diverse advantages of charitable giving for his clients, and the value of philanthropy in estate, retirement, and wealth management planning.

Serving the business community of  New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., is the 2017 Service to Philanthropy Award Sponsor. Certified Public Accountants and business consultants, Buchno Lisicky & Company are the Community Sponsors for the event. 


Celebrating 50 Years of Service | The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation is pleased to work with professional advisors---attorneys, accountants, financial planners, and others---to help their clients achieve their charitable and estate planning goals. As a professional advisor, you know your clients and their needs. By integrating philanthropy with financial and estate planning, you can help ensure that your clients are receiving the maximum benefits for their contributions while also creating the charitable gift programs that best match their short-term and long-term goals.

The Foundation values the guidance of its Professional Advisors Council and is pleased to provide seminars as well as receptions for professional advisors. Each year, the Foundation recognizes professional advisors who have advanced philanthropy in the Lehigh Valley by linking their clients to the services of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.

Thank You 2017 Service to Philanthropy Award Sponsor:






Thank you Community Sponsors: